Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New IRS Scam via SMS messages

I got a text message today which said like

From:TAX@internalrefunding.com
------Message-----
Subject: NOTICE
You have .30 IRS
UNITS pending for
refunding, complete
the form using
www.internalrefunding.com ASAP


My first reaction was "What the f***" but then I started thinking "Could it be IRS?", if yes, then "Why send a SMS?"

Then my paranoid mind started working and even though I haven't heard of a scam which involved sending SMS messages before, I decided to look into it. I tried to check the link and see what it does but the site was down. I wish i could have been able to check where the website is located. Then I googled on IRS scam, and the first link took me to IRS website, which talks about Email Scams. Check the link here
http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=170894,00.html

They email scam had 6 or 7 variants on a period of 8-10 months. The last attempt was as latest as Jan 14, 2008. I guess they got tired of finding new ways of sending emails and instead started sending SMS messages. I am sure a lot of people would have fallen for this trick. What is interesting is that these people are not even trying to go for various web application attacks and instead just using social engineering to fool people into providing their information.

I am sure we will see a lot more (similar) scams in the coming days and there is nothing we can do except for asking for more user awareness and education (i don't know how much will that help).

1 comment:

marisa said...

We got this today and had the same reaction. I couldn't find anything on snopes.com but when i tried to open the website i got a "phishing" alert message on my browser.